Karnataka JD(S) president Vishwanath quits post, blames Siddaramaiah

JD(S) leader Adagooru H Vishwanath on Tuesday resigned from his post as sate president of the party owing to the massive defeat the JD(S) suffered in the Lok Sabha elections. “I am resigning from my post as state president due to ethical reasons. HD Deve Gowda had appointed me as the president and given me the responsibility to ensure victory for the party. But we did not perform well,” AH Vishwanath told the media.

The veteran politician and prominent Vokkaliga leader said that he had decided to resign from his post soon after the Lok Sabha election results were announced on May 23. The JD(S) won only a single seat (Hassan) and the election also witnessed the defeat of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda in Tumakuru and his grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy in Mandya. With the party desperately trying pin the blame on someone, Vishwanath became the sacrificial lamb.

In his resignation letter to JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda, Vishwanath wrote, “You placed immense trust in me when you appointed me as the state president of the JD(S), and this has been my biggest accomplishment. I had to quit the Congress party, which was where my political journey began, in order to retain my self-respect. In such turbulent times, you stood by my side and invited me into your party like a friend.”

Vishwanath maintained that despite CM HD Kumaraswamy’s effort to waive farm loans, the government has not been able to deliver in various other departments. Vishwanath also said that the JD(S) ministers in Kumaraswamy’s cabinet are detached from the party and have not worked together to help build support for it.

“Your defeat in the Lok Sabha elections has pained everyone in the party including me. We did request the Congress to allow you to contest from Mysuru, however, you were left with no choice but to contest from the Tumakuru segment and suffer defeat. Your defeat is a defeat for the entire state,” AH Vishwanath’s resignation letter states.

He also said that the irresponsible statements made by local JD(S) leaders and party workers during the campaign in Mandya led to the defeat of Nikhil Kumaraswamy. The alliance with the Congress has only been a namesake. The coalition’s coordination committee has not been able to work in tandem with the requirements of both parties, Vishwanath said, while adding that it had become Siddaramaiah’s play toy.

“As the state president of the JD(S), I was not even included in it. Dinesh Gundu Rao and my views were not considered in the coordination committee. We had no say in any decisions and Siddaramaiah is lording over it. It has become Siddaramaiah’s play toy. My only request is that I must be allowed to serve the people of Hunsur,” his letter adds.

Vishwanath has been a vocal critic of former CM Siddaramaiah and had also, on multiple occasions, stated that the latter’s highhandedness would lead to defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. “Congress leaders must stop their mischievous attitude. They must stop trying to sabotage the coalition government. They can do all this politics in 2022, this is not the time. We had brought Siddaramaiah to Congress, we created a situation that made him the Chief Minister,” he said.

Just two days ahead of his formal announcement, Vishwanath had complained about how he was sidelined during the selection of Lok Sabha candidates despite being the state president of the party. Last week he had also advised his party men to break away from being a party that supports only the Vokkaliga community.

“Don’t treat a particular community with disdain, it is not good. Why do you think independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh won the Lok Sabha poll from Mandya? She won because of her good nature and positive approach,” he had said.